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Gopher athletes left looking for new school

Garrett Short
Updated: September 12, 2020 02:38 AM
Created: September 11, 2020 04:36 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Rochester Mayo graduate Sebastian Vile is one of over 70 Minnesota Gopher athletes who are now forced to change their futures after the university cut several athletic programs on Thursday.

Vile won the 2018 Class 2A singles state tennis title, earning himself a chance to play at the University of Minnesota.

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"I get that email the very first day that I'm allowed to be recruited from Minnesota and I was like, 'yeah, this is it for me. There's no point in looking around.' I knew where I wanted to go," Vile said.

Growing up a Gopher fan, Vile has been living his dream of playing for Minnesota. But that dream was shattered Thursday as the school cut the men's tennis program along with men's gymnastics and men's indoor and outdoor track and field.

"I can't really put into words what it's like. To have it gone after working all my life for it, it's really, really… it's been hard," Vile said.

In an open letter to fans, the school said it wasn't financially possible to continue offering 25 varsity sports, and that they are facing approximately 75 million dollars of lost revenue this year amid the pandemic.

Vile says the possibility of the sport being cut had crossed his mind because it was recently cut by Iowa. However, the success of the team led him to believe tennis was safe. The team will still play this year, that is, if the virus doesn't get in the way. And if there is a season, Vile plans on playing with the Gophers. But with multiple years of eligibility left, Vile will have to transfer if he wants to see his college tennis career through to the end.


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